Sunday, June 18, 2006

Socks Appeal

Hi Everyone,

Pennita responded to my previous post about grad schools with the possibility of California College of Arts in Oaktown, CA. I had thought about that school (and CCA does have Deborah Valoma, who does textile antropology). I'll have to do some thinking.

Yesterday I actually went shopping for summer clothes. I had lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for so many summers that I hardly had any summer clothes, and it gets hot during the summer in Sacramento, CA, where I now live.

At the clothing store, I also decided to buy some new dress socks for work and some new white socks, which I wear during my play time. My old white play socks are still intact, but they're kind of gray. After we got home, Doug did a load of whites & washed the old white socks, which I plan to wear one more time before throwing out. I was sorting out the socks and was amazed at the good memories that the socks evoked. Here's a picture of three of the socks:

The top sock has the the red dirt stains from when Doug and I hiked the Na Pali coast on Kauai, HI in 2004. The middle sock has a blue spot from a dyeing day, and the bottom sock has black spots on the bottom from a workshop with Jacquetta Nisbitt at the 2004 Conference of Northern California Handweavers. I was shocked by the emotional attachment I had towards these graying socks. These gray play socks evoked the memories of happy times, and I thought of a different take on Yoshiko Wada's term (and name of her book), Memory on Cloth. Wada writes about cloth taking on the memory of shibori processes, but in yesterday's sock case, my own memories were displayed on the cloth, which reminded me of the power of textiles to elicit a range of emotions from me.

Speaking of textiles eliciting memories & emotions, Mary Chapin Carpenter wrote a song in the 1980s called
This Shirt, in which she describes the history of a particular shirt and her love of the shirt. At the end she sings, "This shirt is a grand old relic, With a grand old history...So old I should replace it, But I'm not about to try." (Ths lyrics are at the linked song title above.)

Speaking of memories, that song, This Shirt, was introduced to me by Jack Horn, someone I dated in the late 1980s (and who is MIA). So, that song brings up all sorts of memories. Another person I dated, Jeff Darcy, raised the related question asking if memories really are forgotten or do we just need the appropriate stimulus for the memories to come to the surface? Interestingly enough, music also has the power to evoke memories for me. My hearing a song brings me right back to the era when the song was popular.

I'd love to hear some of your thoughts about the power of textiles & music to evoke memories & emotions.

About what I'm working on -- I'm finished 1/4 of the 4th triple weave strip, so that's coming along slowly. I think I finished the bible piece this morning. Over this past week I realized that if I want to enter the bible piece in quilting shows, I probably need a backing layer. So, I decided to attach a used distowel to the back & call it a day. Here are pictures of the front & back:

I'll post the good images after Charr takes them later this month.


1 comment:

Cathy said...

The dishtowel backing is brilliant!! I kept some coolmax socks I used on the endurance rides prior to selling the horses. Last week M complained about his hot feet, I presented him with the socks and he loves them as much as I used to. He did point out cheat grass seeds in the cuffs however. Always keep clothing that has a good history. It will bless you again.